Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tailteann Games, 2010

Last weekend was our 4th chance to host a large SCA event at our place. For the second year in a row, championship tournaments were held for all 4 marshall arts for which we seek champions every year: Archery, Equestrian, Heavy Fighting and Rapier fighting. It's worked out as a really symbiotic relationship since we think it's fun to have these events here, and our property is one of the few available that is suitable for all 4 activities.

I don't have alot to say -- so let the picturs begin!

The day's setup on the hill.

The day begins with Archery - because not only is the sun at their backs, but the wind is minimal in the morning as well.

These particular targets were verticle pipes covered with foam. You can just about see in this picture, by Baron William's hand, the arrow that bisected the pipe!

Dave again shot in the archery competition, and I heard soon after they concluded that he had shot very well. Well, we were surprised and thrilled, later in the afternoon, when the Baron came looking for him because he needed to conduct a shoot-off between Dave and Liam to break their first place tie! That was very exciting - Liam has been Captain of Archers for long time - longer than we've been around, and the whole family (3 generations) are accomplished archers. So it was an honor, indeed, to have a shoot off against him. Unfortunately, Liam won the shoot off in one shot so... But it was fun while it lasted!

Cecelia, doing as she does best -- having a great time on her horse, affectionately known as Tiny.

Tiny and Cecelia excel at the Quintain. They definitely give it their all. (With this shot she actually dismantled the quintain! The weight bag went flying off)

I'm so excited to say that Dave rode in his first tournament. His run was non competitive, but he showed up and rode in any case. He introduced himself to the crowd as Lord Faolan, impersonating Lady Wystl (me -- because he and Jordan are wearing my colors...)

As he was riding without weapons, the Quintain was just a touch.

Lady Anne made her usual well competitive showing - thorowing javeline here.

Garin's usual Sun Pony mount, Rio, has been struggling with being lame for a very long time now. So he rode Jack - and they just looked great together.

So great, in fact, that Garin was the Champion of the day! He will stand as the Barony's Equerry for the next year.

Earlier this year the SCA revised it's age limits for riders, from 10 to 5. That made one 8 year old boy in our barony, Mistress Rossilin's son Brendan, very happy!

Brendan riding his new horse around his first equestrian course

Way to go Brendan!

Leonora, too, was riding in her first tournament in a long time. It really felt great to have several 'first timers' in our field this year - we had 11 contestants even with 2 of our riders organizing from the ground.

Love that Grin!

And this one!

Great to see new and experienced equestrians alike.

Tracker is an amazing Mounted Archer, and he performed a demo after the tournament. I didn't get many pictures, but I'm convinced these are two views of a partilarly good shot.


Laura H's Husband's

We had the extra pleasure in that our neice Laura, who just moved to Denver, came up for the afternoon to hang out with us.

Picnicing under our pavillion top.

Unfortunately -- things were hopping, I was tired, and while we did watch some of the Heavy tournament and the Rapier tournament as well, we didn't get ANY pictures. :-( Here are two stand ins from Laura's Husband again:



One of the more amusing tales of the day was at the end of the Rapier tournament, last year's champion, Martine, invited three contestants to challenge him at once. Someone commented that our forces didn't look like they fought as a team very well, which prompted Lord Arion to stand on the side lines and start issuing fighting directions to the trio. Lord Arion, let it be known, has a very loud voice when he chooses to use it.

If you look in the background of the Heavy photo above, you can see the kennel yard fences. The dogs were out - but they were borred of us by that time and hanging out in the shade. Well -- NOT once Arion started bellowing! All the dogs showed up at once and started barking at the fighters!

The day ended with court, in which the past champions were congratulated and new champions were presented with their prizes and installed into their positions. Garin, the new Equerry, had crafted a really amazing sword as the prize for the tournament winner. As champion - he was poised to keep his own handicraft. But instead he did a really generous thing -- he said he didn't intent to keep the prize as he'd created it to give it away. As as such he offered the sword to me as a consolation prize since I was unable to compete this year due to my accident.

Thanks so much, Garin -- I was really touched.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Boston - end of the reunion and some alone time

We met up with RouxB in the afternoon. (this is post 2 of 2 for our Boston trip. If you're just arriving, scroll down.)

(ack! I'm realizing now I only remember RouxB's screen name, not her real-life name!) LOL -- oh well. We've attended a couple of the same events before, but this was the first trip we spent much time together. Such is the case of the Brokies -- we know literally hundreds of people, and yet KNOW just a handful. But there is always the opportunity to spread that net just a bit wider.

Anywhoo - the Duck tours use amphibious vehicles from WWII time, to drive around the hot Boston spots, and then even dip into the Charles River for a water-side view of the city. It's kitchy, but fun -- and most importantly afforded a 90 minute block of sight seeing while sitting down!

We happened to have a chance to capture a pic of our own Duck vehicle.

We cruised through much of the area we'd walked earlier, but much further - including across the bridge into Cambridge. But the guides are well versed and funny, so it was a whole new look at the area.

The Mega Mansions

The Massachusetts State House again

The actual GAS lamps throughout this district - that burn 24 hours a day.

The Old State House (Which we discovered, later that night, disguises an entrance to the T, Boston's subway. However... look around this intersection, is there a SINGLE sign to the fact it's a T access point?? Nooooooo!)

OH - and I did mention these were amphibious vehicles, right? Into the Charles River we went.

And after the guide had called up a couple kids to drive the boat? Dave gave it a shot.

The City Scape. Notice the tall glass building? Conveniently that was across the street from our hotel. Finding our way home was really never an issue with that landmark!

Several of the locals came back out for one more night on the town, as us few stragglers tempted them. We said our last good byes - we were going to spend our last day in town doing our own thing.

Jay and Donna, Deb, Dave and Me, Lynne, Paul, RouxB

Tuesday morning got off to an extra special start as I jumped up in bed (as well as my decrepit pelvis would allow) at 7:55 panicked that our flight was that morning and somehow we'd forgotten to set the alarm to go to the airport! ACK!!! And then? It all came back to me that we were going home the NEXT day. Ah - another hour of sleep was apparently in order.

The USS Constitution is one of the first 6 naval vessels commissions for the US Navy - she set sail in 1797, from Boston where she was built. She's still there, still floating, still making tug-boat appearances in the bay, and even sailed again back in 1997 for her 200th birthday. This was our primary goal for the day.

I think this section threatens to be rather photo heavy - she really is an attractive ship!

There were several sets of these stairways between each of the decks. Made me wonder if they had a convention for one set to be 'up' and the other 'down'.

The deck below the main deck was the Gun Deck. I think she was designed for some 44 guns, but typically outfitted with 52? I'm not sure where they squeezed the extra guns, but these babies were impressive! Not original though.

Bilge pumps to pump water out of the bowels of the ship. And yes -- they dumped that water right on this deck, the second deck. Not only is it good to keep all the wood wet, to fight shrinking and swelling, but the gun deck in particular you want to douse any live sparks and such.

Another deck down, the berthing deck. And this one even shorter than the gun deck.

Engineering geeks as we are - I thought these were cool. The "knees" underneath each gun above. These elements transferred the weight of the guns into the support structure of the ship's hull, so that the deck doesn't sag under their weight.

So -- it's fun. It's free. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

There isn't a lot to report about the rest of that day. More walking, which actually did me in, so we returned to the hotel for a nap. That too was well worth it, as we had a very pleasant evening. We had intended to dine in the North End - which is otherwise known as "Little Italy", so we hopped back on the sub and exited at yet another new station. I laugh remembering as we exited the station trying to get our bearings... I know it's the only time we've used the prevailing foot traffic as a way to determine direction. That was the night of the first Celtics/Lakers game to be held in Boston -- and we knew which direction the stadium was by the floods of people headed that way!

Dinner was wonderful, and we meandered our way back through town, capturing some before and after shots.

The Old State House again.

Our last stop, was at the Omni Parker House Hotel, the birth place of Boston Cream Pie! Now, I think they actually have tried to get a bit nouveau with it... but you can be sure we didn't hesitate to finish them off never the less.

It was a really wonderful trip!! I'd love to go back for a more extended stay. But, I expect(hope!) the Brokies will pull us to some other long desired destination first.